Going for their first sweep in Atlanta since 1988, the Giants outhit the Braves 9-3 on Thursday, yet lost 3-2 anyway.
All three Braves hits went for extra bases: Freddie Freeman and David Ross homered off Madison Bumgarner, while Michael Bourn delivered an RBI triple after a Pablo Sandoval error put Paul Janish on base.
Tim Hudson won for the Braves, moving him to 5-2 with a 2.92 ERA in eight starts since the beginning of June. Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his major league-high 28th save.
The Giants won the first two games of the series at Turner Field, 9-0 and 9-4. Had they won again today, it would have been their first sweep in Atlanta since June 27-29, 1988. Candy Maldonado and Dale Murphy were the cleanup hitters in that series, and batting fifth for the Braves was Ken Griffey Sr. The Giants’ Will Clark hit his NL-leading 19th homer in the finale of the series.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.